Do Norwegians look down on Americans

The negative trend is also reinforced by the weak Asian markets. "The economic worries are having an impact on the oil price," says Giovanni Staunovo of the Bloomberg news agency. In addition, the consequences of the ongoing drop in oil prices are likely to cause increasing concern for the economy. For example, Standard & Poor's downgraded Alaska's credit rating from AAA to AA. Even though the US state is still rated as a good debtor, the rating agency is reacting to budget gaps resulting from the falling income from the oil business. At the end of 2015, the US Federal Reserve and the rating agency Standard & Poor’s warned of loan defaults by oil and gas companies.

These men want to set the oil price

The Norwegian financial regulator (Finanstilsynet) also warned on Tuesday of credit problems due to low oil prices. The sharp fall in the oil price has not only slowed growth since summer 2014, but also increased uncertainty in the Norwegian economy, writes Emil Steffensen, head of the banking and insurance department of the financial supervisory authority. The losses from unserved loans are currently still low. But should the oil price continue to fall, "this could affect Norway's economy on a large scale and lower credit quality."

The analyst Matti Ahokas from Danske Bank agrees. The influence of the low oil price is one of the biggest factors of uncertainty even for the largest bank in the country, the DNB. Because a large supplier industry in Norway is dependent on oil production, the indirect effects of the low raw material price must also be considered. This could lead to higher depreciation for many market participants. "The entire Norwegian economy is at the mercy of this."

The pressure on the oil price is unlikely to ease: if the sanctions against Iran are lifted, another major player could become active in the market. Iran recently produced 2.7 million barrels a day. In addition, the USA decided in December to lift its export ban after a good 40 years and to supply the world market in the future.